Archive for the humor Category

Rise to the Top: Exposing the F(l)akers & Being Thankful for the Human Victory Cigar

Posted in Basketball, Detroit, humor, life, Pistons on February 23, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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As the Pistons’ season falls into further disarray there is no time better than the present to wax poetically about the past. As William DeVaughn sang, “just be thankful for what you got.” And there were plenty of moments from 2003-2004 to be appreciative for as Joe D realized the same level of success as a GM as he had as a player with a team built similarly to the original Bad Boys. Ferocious defensive intensity, a strong bench, good chemistry, and just enough scoring, made the faithful hopeful for a better chance to reach the finals.

Few had expected the Pistons’ to beat the Nets. A pattern runs through basketball history of champions failing before succeeding. The original Bad Boys had to battle and lose to the Celtics and Showtime Lakers. Jordan’s Bulls took lumps at the hands of the Bad Boys. Likewise, Detroit had to take some lumps before getting over the hump. Still, the way the Pistons lost to the Nets was disheartening. Having home court advantage, it was safe to count on the Pistons stretching the series to five or six games. As I stated previously, the Pistons’ weaknesses, specifically the lack of a small forward and explosive scoring, were exposed by the Nets. Tayshaun had gotten a few starts that series and looked like a potential solution to the small forward problem.  Would he also be the answer to the Pistons’ offensive woes?  Certainly, replacing Michael Curry with Prince would provide an immediate boost to the offense, but how much of one?

Fortunately, the Pistons were in a good position to address their roster issues, having two first round draft picks, including the second overall pick, thanks to Joe D’s skills. Carmelo Anthony was talked about for logical reasons. The Pistons needed to upgrade the SF position.  Even more, they needed a scorer for the moments the offense grew stagnant. Melo would have filled both roles while Prince could have still have gotten significant playing time.

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However, Darko, aka “the human victory cigar” was in the draft. Some commentators and fans seem to forget that Darko was the consensus #2 pick. He was an athletic 7-footer, who could run like a deer, showed decent passing, shot blocking, and shooting ability. Certainly, he was raw at age 17, but the potential within his package was too much too pass up. He was projected as the second pick on every team’s draft board. In short, Darko fooled more than just Joe D and the Pistons with his bouncy gait, length and love of Europop.

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Breaking News: Obama Solves Financial Crisis

Posted in humor with tags , , , on February 21, 2009 by trapperKeeper

obama

You heard it here first, Obama has solved the financial crisis by printing new money, which makes all old debts are null and void.  More importantly, he has ended the reign of white men on United States printed money. Obviously, Obama is going to put himself on the new money.  He did come up with the solution.  None of the other original bill faces are getting another go-around.  America wants, no needs, to move forward.  Dead, ancient men on money is the worst kind of pining, nostalgic.  Oh children, remember when we threw all those British in the water, drank their tea, and declared ourselves free?  Initially, Obama will be the only face on the new money, but as sponsors come forward to back the paper there will be more diversity.  Hurray, the savior has saved, let all the earth rejoice!

Bread and Circuses? Sorry, I just want tax cuts

Posted in humor, Music, politics, zombies on February 21, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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http://www.divshare.com/download/6614785-eef

I have been working a Pistons’ post, so this post will be short.  Plus, the weather has been too nice to be in front of the computer all day.  Os Mutantes was a Brazilian psychedelic rock band first formed in 1965.  This album, self-titled, released in 1968 was Os Mutantes recording debut.  Enjoy.

Q: How do you destroy a zombie bank?

A: You must destroy the brain

Dead & Deader (How much did my brain regress?)

Posted in humor, zombies on February 19, 2009 by trapperKeeper

The gore is pretty weak from the beginning. Head shots result in no head explosions. Cheesy lines are uttered way too frequently. Instantly, you are laughing at the move and not with the movie. Not a good sign, but we will see how the rest of it goes. Somehow scorpions are involved. Oh yeah, and the U.S. military and bio-engineering chicanery. The credits are pointless, melodramatic. I realize credits happen at the beginning of the film, but isn’t there a better way to incorporate them into the story.

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Dead and Deader is a true zombie movie, the men do die and come back to life. Dean Cain gets a leading role, and delivers on the potential of the role. The zombies can sometimes talk, have super strength and punishment levels. Eddie Griffin plays the military cook. Cain goes from dead to the walking dead to delivering orders and offering advice, such as “whatever you do, don’t let it bite you” in minutes. Yes, that is right 1990s Superman battles the walking dead while being .  Talk about a self loathing zombie, although he has some attractive opposite sex attention.  Even zombies have needs.  Plus, someone has to be the hero.

Anyways, Zombies barge in and create some chaos.  Zombies are dispatched via fan, meat grinder, and a wicked hatchet throw by the dead Cain who develops a strong urge for red meat. After a quick gorge, his red, demonic eyes fade and he is a rational being again. He is like a zombie Blade. This movie asks you to check logic at the door and indulge in fairly mediocre gore and Dean Cain’s handsome skeletal structure and superb acting abilities.

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Court martialed a long with the cook, they are being escorted into lockup, where Cain goes berserk, freeing them. The white guy-black guy buddy movie territory is entered. Wariness sets in, too many genres and cliches are being tossed about.

Zombies have escaped from the military truck escorting them to a facility. Cain and cook are following behind. Apparently, the infected have incredible hearing. After finding the carnage, they stop off at a local dive bar. Of course, Cain has a craving for red meat, but before that can happen the tables are turned. Cain and cook have been found out due to . Obviously, everybody at the hick bar is armed with some sort of firearm. Unfortunately, they are of little use when zombies come a-knockin’. Necks are feasted upon while Cain and the cook are locked in the freezer. One ruffian gets his groan bitten into.

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Happy Parliafunkadelicment Presidents’ Thangday, Do You Know Where Your Towel Is?

Posted in Detroit, humor, Music, P-Funk on February 16, 2009 by trapperKeeper

Happy Parliafunkadelicment Presidents’ Thangday. In honor of the late, great funky president James Brown, today’s P-Funk post will honor James Brown emphasis on the One. James Brown’s obsession with the one had a major impact on the development of funk.  In 1970, James Brown’s band pulled a sit down strike over wages daring James to blink.  Unfortunately for them, the Funky President flew in the Pacesetters, a band Bootsy had formed in 1968 with his brother, Phelps or “Catfish,” Frank “Cash” Waddy, and Philippe Wynne.  Wynne followed the Pacesetters to James Brown and later  joined up with P-Funk empire in 1979.

Bootsy and his crew grew tired of the rigidity of Brown’s system, so they quit in 1971.  Bootsy was playing in Detroit when he was introduced to George Clinton.  Bootsy loved the freedom George offered, and they formed a partnership.  He brought along Catfish and Frank Waddy.  All three contributed to 1972’s America Eats Its’ Young.  Waddy didn’t stick around for much longer.  Nor did Bootsy and Catfish, who took the horn section with them.  They then began touring as  Funkadelic as well, leading to a legal solution that kind of remedied the situation.  Bootsy and Catfish were back in the P-Funk fold by 1974.  It is no coincidence the golden age of Parliament Funkadelic was to follow.  In 1975, they got Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker and a few other members of James Brown band to join up with P-Funk.  The stage was set for the coming of the Mothership.

Today’s post will focus on one of my favorite Parliament albums, The Motor Booty Affair.  Released in 1978, Bootsy, Catfish, and the Horny horns were all involved and the One is heavily emphasized sonically and lyrically.  One of Parliament’s best albums, George and the boys take the Mothership underwater.  It lacks the grime, but makes up for it with liquid funk provided by Bootsy and Bernie.  Bootsy’s bass takes the bottom while Bernie fills everywhere with stylings.  Mr. Wiggles are Rumpofsteelskin are introduced, while Sir Nose D’ Void of Funk and the Clones make appearances.  Rumpofsteelskin is an ally of Sir Nose.  Haters, coming to wreck the party.  Thankfully, Starchild shows up to save the day.

An immense cast of funkateers contributed to this album.  Check below to see who was credited with what.  A huge addition to the P-Funk army for Motor Booty was Rodney “Skeet” Curtis, a bassist who brought the jazz stylings.  Junie, Bootsy, and Bernie’s footprints are massive as well.

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Opening the album, we are introduced to”Mr. Wiggles,” a disc jockey, capable of “molecules of wetness like an eel through seeweed,” taking us on a fantastic voyage.  This song has a killer jazz bass line. Listen closely to the opening spoken words, they are beautiful and full of wisdom even if they appear to be gibberish.  George as Mr. Wiggles, and his ladies, bionic slithering idiots, drop in.  Like royalty, they are welcomed with horns.  The rhythm guitar is killer.  Bernie and the Horny Horns come in shortly after and the underwater marathon is on.

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Lucid Memories of the Piston’s Past Decade, Pt. 1: The Building of a Champion

Posted in Basketball, Detroit, humor, Pistons on February 14, 2009 by trapperKeeper

Don't Mess w/ the Fro

The shorter abstract has become a much longer entity, so it is being broken up into parts. Here is part one, which focuses on the the rise of the new Bad Boys. They weren’t as dirty as the originals, but both versions were an unconventionally built teams who stressed a commitment to rugged defense.

Entering the new millennium, the Pistons were coming off a semi-successful, strike-shortened, season. Finishing at 29-21, good for 3rd place in the Central, they received a 5th seed and match-up against Mt. Mutumbo’s Atlanta Hawks. Taking them to a do or-die 5th game in the first round was as far as the talent-challenged Pistons could go. The team was appeared to be solid, coming in at 10th and 9th respectively at offensive and defensive efficiency. However, the roster had a few good players, and was atrocious if you look twelve deep.

Lacking a real post presence, point guard, and bench, the Pistons were a limited team. If it weren’t for the skill of Grant Hill, I can’t imagine the carnage in the loss column. Explosive, rounded, gentlemanly, and extremely gifted, Grant only lacked a consistent outside jump shot, which was something he was working on. Unfortunately, injuries had to prematurely limit his abilities. One of the better players in the league, he was surrounded by a soon to retire Joe Dumars, Bison Dele, Jerry Stackhouse, and not much else. Jerome “Junk Yard Dog” Williams was a scrappy, energetic bench player who could rebound well came off the bench and is worth a mention, but otherwise most of the bench consisted of never beens.

The 1999-2000 season, under coach Alvin Gentry and then interim George Gervin, saw the return of Detroit-area native and one of my favorite Piston players, Terry “T-Three” Mills, who made the second most amount of threes while shooting a respectable 39% from long range during the season. This was during a time where it was less common for big men to shoot threes. The impact of European migration had not yet approached full realization. I remember Sam Perkins and Bill Laimbeer being other big men long range shooters, although in a different way than Dirk.

The lack of a true big man, especially on the defensive end, was again a problem. This situation wasn’t really remedied until Ben Wallace came in. Brian Williams, aka Bison Dele, was a solid offensive player, but even he was gone after the 1998-1999 season. Becoming a swingman dominated team, Hill and Stackhouse put up numbers; however, the lack of big men contributed glaringly to the porous defense and rebounding. Ending the season at 42-40, they earned a 7th round playoff seed against the Heat, whose big men were too much, and were promptly swept.

Who picked out this color scheme?

Who picked out this color scheme?

At one point during the season, Grant Hill was out for a bit and Jud Buechler actually started five games at SF. Grant was going to be a free agent after the season, so he was traded after the playoff loss to Miami to Orlando for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace. Unfortunately for Grant, and the Magic, the ankle injury he had sustained and played through during the playoffs was more serious than initially thought. The trade, engineered by Joe Dumars, worked out well for the Pistons though. Ben Wallace blossomed into a dominant defensive player and leader. Joe had been brought in as the President of Basketball Operations right after the postseason. He wasted no time building a team in his image.

George Gervin, who had replaced Gentry as head coach during the previous season, retained the position for the 2000-2001. He did not fare well as the team finished 30-52. Sporting the not so fearsome PG trio of Chucky Atkins, Dana Baros, and local hero Mateen Cleaves, the team lacked a game plan capable of masking the limitations of the roster. Cleaves was Joe Dumars first first-round pick. To be fair the team needed a PG, although it was clear Cleaves was not going to the be answer and was a hometown hero. Joe grabbed another Big Ten player, Brian “The Janitor” Cardinal, who turned out to be a serviceable, albeit extremely overpaid, bench player, in the second round.

“Big Nasty” Corliss Williamson was brought over from Toronto for Jerome Williams. I remember Corliss and Scotty Thurman running Nolan Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” defense to the Final Four. He was a pretty efficient low-post scorer off the bench, who would bang and could draw some fouls. Although, he was too small to guard most players he was matched up against in the post.  He would win the Sixth Man of the Year, being an important member of the dynamic bench unit, dubbed the “Alternatorz” by Jon Barry.

Jerry Stackhouse really went off, averaging 29.8 ppg, with the extra shots provided by Grant Hill’s departure. Sadly, he also led the team in assists with 5.1 ppg. Free throws and offense were never Ben Wallace’s professional forte, but his rebounding and defensive provided an encouraging piece to build around. Averaging over 13 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks a game, he was able to change the game dramatically while doing almost nothing on offense.

During the off-season, Mateen Cleaves, drafted more as a publicity move, was traded for Jon Barry, who provided some long-range shooting and fire. Joe was fashioning a scrappy, defensive minded ball-club built on the model of the original Bad Boys. Jud Buechler was exchanged for Cliff Robinson. Buechler was a solid athlete, and a real good volleyball player apparently, but didn’t bring many skills to the basketball court. “Uncle” Cliffy was known for his headband, perimeter offensive game, and solid defense.

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Would You Sell Your Soul for Funkentelechy? (The Milky Way Is Still Hungry)

Posted in humor, Music, P-Funk on February 2, 2009 by trapperKeeper

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I don’t feel like writing as many words today about P-Funk as I usually do on Happy Parliafunkadelicment Thangday!  So, I will drop a live Parliament Funkadelic from 1978 and avoid writing a history around the album.  While not the best live recording, the bottom end is muddled, it suffices as the funk sacrament for today.  It was recorded in Savannah, GA on February 23.

“Funkentelechy” opens with a monologue over a “Flashlight”esque synth.  Already a stretched out song, George extends “Funkentelechy” with anti-phony, or call and response, and solos. Skeet plays an alternating fluid and free bass solo that is infected with the jazz juju.  Kidd Funkadelic gets a chance to solo as well.  The song slows down to a trickle of horn riffs as “Cosmic Slop” is transitioned into.

Before getting into the rest of the album I want to get into a quick discussion of funk.  Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about the concepts of groove, trance and sound healing.   Some of the ideas have come from rereading Rickey Vincent’s excellent Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of THE ONE.  During the introduction, Rickey introduces UC Berkeley Music Professor Olly Wilson’s structural qualities of African American music, which easily fit the funk.  These are: “The tendency to approach the organization of rhythm based on the principle of rhythmic and implied metrical contrast,” “The tendency to approach singing or the playing of any instrument in a percussive manner,” “Antiphony, or call-and-response musical structure that emphasizes audience participation and involvement,” “The tendency to create a high density of musical events within a relatively short time frame,” “A tendency to incorporate physical body motion as an integral part of the music-making process.”

In short, the first principle can be shortened to the idea of the music swinging, or having a groove.  The second idea is pretty simple to understand, all instruments act as a percussive forces.  Anti-phony is another easy concept.  Severing the gap between performers and audience, call-and-response was used by P-Funk to build the collective energy to sufficient reserves in order to call down the Mothership.  The fourth quality of funk explains the large number of members on stage.  All the instruments serve the dominant groove, but at the same time are capable of playing complete individual musical statements.  Hopefully, these principles will make sense to you, particularly when listening to the music.  Perhaps, they will make it more enjoyable. Perhaps, they won’t.  The knowledge probably won’t make you feel the groove if you currently don’t; however, if you can’t feel it you might as well be dead.

The tempo of “Cosmic Slop” increases as the song does.  By the end the gallop of beat pushes the guitars and final horns into overdrive.

Another number off Funkentelechy vs. The Placebo Syndrome, “Bop Gun,” is played next.  Energy is summoned on the second half, in accordance with interstellar travel.  GC busts into some verses from “Take Your Dead Ass Home,” “Let’s Take it To the Stage,” “Loose Booty,” and other songs as the jam stretches.  GC exhorts the audience to “get off their ass and jam,” and they respond.  Bernie extracts some great noises out of the electronics near the end.

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